Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

The tragic story of a bride in India, beaten until death if they are not virgin


Photo : a bride in IndiaPhoto : a bride in India -  Pune, an industrial city and a cosmopolitan center in western India, is a home for many largest IT companies and also a place for the Trump's apartment in India.

But in this city, there is a very conservative inland area.

On January 21st, three girls named Prashant Indrekar, Saurabh Machhle and Prashant Tamchikar, who were part of an anti-patriarchal campaign, were beaten by 40 people in Pune's Pimpri-Chinchwad.

The three victims were members of a campaign that against the rituals practiced in the Kanjarbhat tribe, ie a "virginity test" for a young bride.

A young bride in that community are given a white cloth on their first night for sexual intercours by panchayat, or village caste board.

If the groom does not confirm that his wife is a virgin, then the panchayat gives a punishment ie beatings the bride.

And the bride is labeled as a "broken" woman, then there will be a question why she lost her virginity.

The abuse was encouraged three girls in Pune to join with "Stop the V-Ritual" campaign, said Priyanka Tamaichikar, 26, from Pune.

In December last year, several women from the Kanjarbhat community created a WhatsApp group called "Stop the V-Ritual".

"I am determined not to let the panchayat makes a virginity test for me, and I will talk to my boyfriend about this ritual, this is an affront to the dignity of women," said Priyanka who works as a manager at a real estate company in Pune.

"In Pune, there is not a marriage going on without virginity test. And the panchayat
says that they do not want the woman can 'out of control'.

"They think, a women will enjoy the 'forbidden' relationship, if they have a fear of a virginity test that awaiting them when they will marriage ? Our question to this council is - what is virginity test for men?" said Priyanka as quoted from Al Jazeera.

Prashant Indrekar, member of "Stop Virginity Ritual", was among those who were beaten for opposing the practice.

"On Sunday night, I attended a wedding at Pimpri. On 11.30 pm, local time, the panchayat was discussing about the ritual. The people there knew about my campaign. I was on my way out from the wedding, when I saw my friends being beaten by around 40 people. "

"They also beat me, then we went and made a report to the police and finally some people were arrested," Prashant said.

Both Prashant and Priyanka say they face threats from these groups, which support the regressive practice.

Police officers who investigated the case at the Pimpri Police Station in Pune said they had arrested four of the five people related that case, while the remainder had been identified.

Panchayat or village council is an organization that spread across India and has made many decisions, including the "honor killing" of unmarried couples according to tradition and hierarchy.

And the tradition for checking the virginity has no legal sanction.

Vivek Tamaichekar, founder of Stop the V-Ritual and also a scientist at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, says people are obsessed with "maintaining the purity of caste".

"Panchayat is a stalwart of tradition who strives to test the purity of women. The room for the new bride is cleaned together, all sharp objects must removed, the bride bracelet must counted, so she can not use anything to make herself bleed," Vivek said.

"Indians are talking about liberalization and globalization, what does this mean when there is still a lot of pressure from panchayat on the family, they tell their girls, 'We send you to college, we allow you to wear jeans, it's not enough freedom for you?

Although the "virginity test" is a ritual exclusively that practiced by the Kanjarbhat community in India, but, the oppressive patriarchy is not limited to a particular group.

Women and men will still killed in villages in northern India if they dare to marry outside their caste. Cases of illegal abortion of female fetuses and mistreatment of young brides by their in-laws because they do not meet the demands of dowry are also rampant.

Many practices such as virginity tests are intended to keep women looking weak.


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